Sex offending

Date of this Version


Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Turvey, B. (2009). Sex offending. In W. Petherick & C. Ferguson (Eds.), Crime and deviance (pp. 89-134). Alaska, United States: Forensic Press LLC.

2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1602

© Copyright 2009, Forensic Press, LLC. All rights reserved.




The term sex crime generally refers to any confluence of criminal and sexual acts. In some cases, sexual activity is inherently criminal, such as that involving a lack of consent. In other cases, sexual activity occurs between "consenting" parties but still involves a crime, as with prostitution in certain jurisdictions. As explained in Torres and van der Walt (2009, p. 450), "the law not only defines who can be a "victim" of sexual assault, but also which specific behaviours can be criminalized, even between consenting adults." Consider the description provided in Griffin and West (2006, pp. 143-144):

"Sex crime" is a term that identifies a multitude of possible offenses toward an individual or community that either directly or indirectly relates to sex. A few of the most common sex crimes include child molestation, exhibitionism, incest, rape, and voyeurism. There are many manifestations of each of these crimes. For example, rape is often categorized in one of two ways: acquaintance rape and stranger rape ... However, it should be noted that sex crimes are not the same as sexual disorders.

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